Echuca Murray Bombers have squashed the rumour it has signed former Hawthorn player Brent Guerra as coach for next season.By Damen Francis
Echuca president Brett Stevens has poured cold water on rumours linking the Murray Bombers with Hawthorn’s two-time premiership player Brent Guerra.
Twitter and the Goulburn Valley Football League community were awash with talk the 31-year-old would fill the vacant coaching post at Echuca next season, following the announcement of his AFL retirement on Wednesday.
While Stevens confirmed the club had spoken to Guerra, he said that was as far as it went.
‘‘We’ve had phone calls to him and that’s it, we haven’t had a meeting with him at all,’’ Stevens said.
‘‘Everyone is saying his parents live in Echuca, and that’s exactly right, but he doesn’t want to coach.
‘‘We’re down the track as far as interviewing coaches, but I’ll guarantee you he will not be our coach.’’
Guerra, who was born in Koondrook — one hour north-west of Echuca — and recruited from TAC Cup side Bendigo Pioneers, bowed out after a 255-game career that spanned 13 seasons with Hawthorn, St Kilda and Port Adelaide.
He played in Hawthorn’s 2008 premiership and the decision to call it quits arrived less than a week after helping the Hawks defeat Fremantle in this year’s AFL grand final.
Stevens did not rule out pursuing Guerra as a player, but said it was little more than an ‘‘outside chance’’.
‘‘We would like to think (it’s a possibility), but a player like that would cost a fair bit of money,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re not in that situation where probably we can afford him, so that’s the reality.
‘‘We’ll talk to him, but he retired (on Wednesday) and he’ll be getting offers from all over the place that I’m sure we won’t be able to match.’’
Stevens said the club’s search for a replacement for senior coach Cameron Stewart was ongoing.
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